TCADP at the 83rd Legislature

On February 22, 2013, State Representative Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) filed House Bill 1703, which calls for repeal of the Texas death penalty.  The bill has been referred to the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, where we aim to secure a full hearing.  Download our Issue Brief on HB 1703.

What’s next?

1. Please call or email Rep. Farrar to thank her for her leadership on this issue and for filing HB 1703.  Email her at Jessica.farrar@house.state.tx.us or call her Capitol office at 512-463-0620.

2. Stay tuned for an announcement about a Statewide Call-In Day to your state legislators!

You can participate from home by taking these actions in support of HB 1703:

1. Telephone your State Representative  and tell him/her:

  • You support repeal of the death penalty in Texas, and
  • You support HB 1703, filed by Rep. Farrar.

2. Ask your Representative to support a full committee hearing on HB 1703.

If you do not know who your State Representative is, you can find that information at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/.

You can follow the progress of HB 1703 at http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB1703.

3. Contact Information for the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee when TCADP seeks your support for specific legislation.

Chairman: Rep. Abel Herrero (District 34-Robstown)
Abel.Herrero@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0462
Ask for Miguel Liscano.

Vice Chair: Rep. Stefani Carter (District 102-Dallas)
Stefani.Carter@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0454
Ask for Nikki Tyson.

Rep. Lon Burnam (District 90-Fort Worth)
Lon.Burnam@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0740
Ask for DeAndrea Petty, Criminal Justice Policy Analyst. Rep. Burnam is one of the authors of HB 1703, so please thank him for his leadership and support (if you haven’t done so already!).

Rep. Terry Canales (District 40-Edinburg)
Terry.Canales@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0426
Ask for Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith.

Rep. Bryan Hughes (District 5-Mineola)
Bryan.Hughes@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0271

Rep. Jeff Leach (District 67-Plano)
Jeff.Leach@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0544
Ask for Chris Kirby or Mary McClure.

Rep. Joe Moody (District 78-El Paso)
Joe.Moody@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0728
Ask for Chief of Staff Ellic Sahualla.

Rep. Matt Schaefer (District 6-Tyler)
Matt.Schaefer@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0584
Ask for Judd Quarles.

Rep. Steve Toth (District 15-The Woodlands)
Steve.Toth@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0797
Ask for Michael Houck.

4.  A Hearing has been scheduled for HB 1703!

On Wednesday night, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee announced that it has scheduled House Bill 1703 – the death penalty repeal bill by Representatives Farrar, Allen, and Burnam – for a hearing on Monday, April 29, 2013.

The hearing will begin after the House adjourns. Since the House doesn’t convene until 2:00 PM on Mondays, it is likely that the committee hearing will not begin until 4:00 or 5:00 PM (if not later). We expect it to be a long night, but we’re in it for the long haul and would love your attendance and participation in the hearing, as well. (Please remember to dress professionally for the hearing.)

For those of you who are available on Monday afternoon/evening, we invite you to register in support of the bill and to stay with us as long as you are able. If you can’t stay for the hearing but are able to drop by the Capitol at some point on Monday, you can register your support at one of the electronic kiosks in the Capitol Extension. (You don’t have to be present at the hearing for the committee to record your support for HB 1703.)

The hearing will take place in the Capitol Extension in Room E2.036. Directions and parking information can be found below.

Kristin Houlé will be testifying on behalf of TCADP. We also will provide testimony from victims’ family members and religious leaders. The committee will hear from Anthony Graves, who spent 18 years in prison, including 12 years on death row, and faced two execution dates, and from Reverend Carroll Pickett, a Presbyterian minister who served as the death house chaplain at the Walls Unit in Huntsville for 15 years and accompanied 95 men to their deaths by execution.

Thank you for helping us secure this hearing through your calls to members of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and your own state legislators. We hope to see many of you at your State Capitol on Monday!

Directions and Parking Information
The hearing will take place in Room E2.036, which is located on the bottom floor of the Capitol Extension. You will find elevators just north of the rotunda on the first floor of the Capitol (near the restrooms).

Take the elevator down to E2. Upon exiting the elevator proceed down a long hallway. Room E2.036 will be at the far end of the building on your right. Here is a link to maps of the Capitol:
http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/SPB/Plan/FloorPlan/FlorPlan.htm

You will need to pass through security when you enter the Capitol.

The Capitol Visitors parking garage is located one block east of the Capitol at 1201 San Jacinto, between Trinity and San Jacinto at 12th and 13th Streets. Parking is free for the first two hours and a dollar each half hour after that to a maximum of $8. Since you will probably exit the garage after hours, we advise that you bring $8 in exact change, which you will leave in an envelope in the drop box.

If the Visitors Parking garage is full, street parking is available around the Capitol. Meters are enforced until 6:00 PM on weekdays (some accept credit cards while others require coins).

Now is the time to make your voice heard by Texas legislators!  Let TCADP know the results of your conversation by using the Legislator Tracking Sheet!